GitLab really made it to become a great tool. In the beginning it was pretty copy-cat of GitHub. These days they provide a ton of features which are well integrated.

I'm starting to like it more than GitHub. And comparing the GitLab vs. the GitHub workflow, GitLab makes somehow more sense.

Let's see what happens in the next few weeks. Maybe I push more things to GitLab instances.

#GitHub #GitLab #git #VCS


I went with it because it's #foss and because on you can have private repositories on the free plan. I find it more comfortable to start off private until everything is more or less up to speed, then switch to public.

Besides, it is a sort of European startup (Ukrainian-Dutch, though by now most VC comes from the US).

But yeah, I like it, especially the CI stuff is well done.

I'm actually not the biggest fan of I prefer self-hosted/friend-hosted setups. is "too full" for my taste. Also they run an open core model so their hosted version is iirc non-free (as in freedom).


I know how to run/self-host Gitlab myself. Just that I can host it myself doesn't mean it's fully free software. Free software is about Licenses, and runs Gitlab EE which is non-free licensed:

GitLab CE is free software:


Ok, I thought you were talking about #GitLab CE.

However, from reading the EE licence, it does look like a free software licence to me, although I am sure this can be debated.


@61 @sheogorath
EE is open-core. Client-side is opensource as any non EE exclusive code (anything that is in CE), but running it requires a subscription.

If you want 100% free software you need to run CE. That's what runs, for example.

If you are OK running on top of an opencore, you can use

The biggest advantage is that you can export everything and migrate to your own instance at any time (CE or EE)

Thank you @brodock

I note that the source to #GitLab EE is also available¹ for anyone to download, install and modify so it is definitely open source². Originally it was under the #MIT but that seemed to confuse customers, according to a comment from sytse here:


² Yes, I know the difference between free and open source software.



No, it's not OS (as defined by OSI):

"The license shall not restrict any party from selling or giving away the software […]. The license shall not require a royalty or other fee for such sale."

vs Gitlab EE License:

"You agree that GitLab
[…] retain all right […]
to all such modifications […], and all such modifications […] may only be […] distributed […] with a valid GitLab Enterprise Edition subscription for the correct
number of user seats."

/cc @brodock


The term for this kind of license is source-available. Which is quite a big difference. You can read it, you can modify it and so on, but it's still not open source, as it doesn't match the requirements of the OSD.

Licensing is a complicated area. Hope this helps to see through this jungle.



Looks like we'll have to agree to disagree here, but I do not see that EE fails to meet the requirements of free software.

I do follow Stallman's descriptive philosophy rather than the OSI prescriptive definition which, to me, results in occultation of the forest by a large number of trees.

To me, the requirement for payment to run the software in your own metal does not alter its #foss status.

Point is moot because of CE anyway



Ah, hang on. I missed this post of yours.

Re-reading the EE licence I agree that it is not free software.

The part that makes it non-free is not IMO the bits that you partially quote – it is quite ok to request payment for the software. The non-free part is this paragraph:

“Subject to the
foregoing, it is forbidden to copy, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense,
and/or sell the Software.”

My mistake, I hadn't seen that bit.


@61 @sheogorath yeah. We allow you to see the source in the EE but there are all these restrictions you mentioned. I am biased to make an opinion here but to be fair, most of what is in EE, is desirable only in big enterprise environment. The balance is not perfect but CE is a super decent version, very powerful if you ask me.


Definitely, the CE version is already awesome. And I don't mind to use it instead of EE as it has all features one would need for smaller setups.

And even for bigger setup that are common for companies it's still one of the good products. As there is usually a lot completely proprietary software around, that should be replaced before we think about making the life of source-available vendors harder.


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